Genuine Giving

 

Multi-Ethnic Group Of People's Arms Raised Holding Letters ThatI grew up in a home where giving was practiced regularly. We didn’t have much in material things, but my parents always displayed a healthy attitude of giving to help others. I remember watching my Dad write out his tithe check to the church every pay period. I also learned first hand just how much the Lord loves a giver. We are never more like God than when we give – “He gave His only Son…”

Elisha meets the woman and her husband who are generous toward him. They make quite an impression upon him. Check this out…

8 One day Elisha went to Shunem. And a well-to-do woman was there, who urged him to stay for a meal. So whenever he passed by, he stopped there to eat. 9 She said to her husband, ‘I know that this man who often comes our way is a holy man of God. 10 Let’s make a small room on the roof and put in it a bed and a table, a chair and a lamp for him. Then he can stay there whenever he comes to us.’

11 One day when Elisha came, he went up to his room and lay down there. 12 He said to his servant Gehazi, ‘Call the Shunammite.’ So he called her, and she stood before him. 13 Elisha said to him, ‘Tell her, “You have gone to all this trouble for us. Now what can be done for you? Can we speak on your behalf to the king or the commander of the army?”’

She replied, ‘I have a home among my own people.’ (2 Kings 4:8-13 NIV)

They built a small room out so that Elisha could have his privacy and know that he always had a place to stay when he came that way. The part that jumped out to me is that this lady didn’t expect anything in return for her giving. She was thinking of Elisha and his comfort as he traveled so much.

I was reminded this morning that all I have belongs to the Lord. I’m simply a steward of all that He has given to me. I can always take my giving to a higher level. I want to be a giver like God is a giver. I want to think ahead like this Shunammite woman. I want to give without expecting reciprocation. God loves a generous giver. Giving reveals what is really going on inside my heart. Check out what Jesus says about this….

19 ‘Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:19-21 NIV)

I want to invest into eternity by being a generous giver. I want to seek the Lord’s direction in giving. I want to be a giver like Him.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Free Giving

 

Hand giving moneyI’m still learning to be a giver. I’ve definitely learned that I can’t out-give The Lord. He is the Ultimate Giver. He gave His One and Only Son so that I could have my relationship with Him restored. I have hope through His Giving. I believe that my giving often blesses me as much as the recipient of my gift. I’m thankful that the Giver of Life is teaching me how to give.

King David understood the value of giving. He made an egregious mistake and disobeyed the Lord. The Lord gave him three options for punishment and they were all pretty hard. David fell on the mercy of God and asked for mercy. He was told to go to a certain threshing floor to offer a sacrifice to the Lord. So he went and the guy who owned the threshing floor was honored to have the king there. He tried to gift all that was needed for the sacrifice, but David responded with words I needed to hear. Check this out…

24 But the king replied to Araunah, ‘No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.’

So David bought the threshing-floor and the oxen and paid fifty shekels of silver for them. 25 David built an altar to the Lord there and sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. Then the Lord answered his prayer on behalf of the land, and the plague on Israel was stopped. (2 Samuel 24:24-25 NIV)

I am never more like God than when I give.

I want to give generously to the Lord. He owns it all. He simply makes me the manager of all that He’s blessed me with. I can’t possibly out give the Giver of all good things. I can honor Him with my giving. I believe giving starts deep inside my heart and works it’s way out to my hands and feet. I trust the Lord to help direct my giving. I must fight the urge to be self-centered and cling tightly to the things the Lord has blessed me with. I have to be very discerning about where the Lord wants me to give. I believe that my giving begins with the church and my tithing. I can work from there. When the Lord’s resources connect with a heart devoted to Him, great work can happen as a result of determined giving. My giving costs me something – I must surrender it all to Him, I will still be blessed for sure.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Generosity

 

The Power of Sharing Billboard Message Donate Give Help OthersI learned about this word as a young child. My parents were relatively poor in that we had a house and old vehicles. We had food on the table, and clothes on our backs but there were 5 kids and my parents both worked and made a modest living. As a parent, I’ve looked back many times and wondered how they made it work. I remember my Dad being faithful to write his tithe check out each time he got paid. I learned to be generous from my parents. I also learned that the Lord loves a generous heart, because He has one too. He instructed His people to live and give generously to their fellow brothers. He wanted them to care for one another and not take advantage of a poor brother or sister. Check this out…

7 If anyone is poor among your fellow Israelites in any of the towns of the land that the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hard-hearted or tight-fisted towards them. 8 Rather, be open-handed and freely lend them whatever they need.

10 Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to. 11 There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be open-handed towards your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land. (Deuteronomy 15:7-8;10-11 NIV)

I see passages like this revealing the generous heart of God. He has been generous toward me and He expects me to be generous toward others. It’s easier to be generous toward my fellow brother or sister when I think back what it’s like to be in need. I do believe that I also have a responsibility to take good care of the blessing and provision from the Lord so that I can position my self to be generous on His behalf. I don’t want to be generous because it makes Dwayne look good – I want to be generous to make The Lord look good.

I’m so thankful for the Lord’s provision in my life. I’m humbled that He’s used me to be a blessing to others. I end up being more blessed than some of the folks that I set out to bless. The Apostle Paul spoke in the New Testament about the blessing of giving. Check this out…

In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”’ (Acts 20:35 NIV)

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Giving

 

Multi-Ethnic Group Of People's Arms Raised Holding Letters ThatI think that giving is one of the coolest things that the Lord ever created. He created giving when He first created the universe, the earth and mankind to live here. He also introduced the principle of giving in the Old Testament when He introduced the tithe. He reminded them again right before they entered into the Promised Land. Check this out…

22 Be sure to set aside a tenth of all that your fields produce each year. 23 Eat the tithe of your corn, new wine and olive oil, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks in the presence of the Lord your God at the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name, so that you may learn to revere the Lord your God always. (Deuteronomy 14:22-23 NIV)

This tithe was different than the money tithe. I don’t remember noticing this before that the tenth that the crops produced were to be eaten in the Presence of the Lord as a reminder of being blessed by Him.

I’m a big Dave Ramsey fan. I remember when Dave first said, “Live like no one else so that you can Live like no one else.” I started noticing that he added two words to that phrase. He now says: “Live like no one else so that you can Live and Give like now one else!” He obviously has lived that out to be given insight into the principle of giving. In my giving, I feel more blessed to give than maybe even the recipient of my gift.

My family tries to give thanks before every meal acknowledging the provision and blessing of the Lord. I’ve never thought of taking the food grown from the garden or any livestock and eating on the tenth before the Lord. I’ve never noticed that concept before. I do believe it is designed to create a grateful heart inside of me.

Giving to the Lord changes me.

Giving to the Lord reveals my dependence on Him.

Giving to the Lord acknowledges His Provision for me.

Giving to the Lord creates awareness of others needs.

Giving to the Lord blesses my heart in very unique ways.

Giving is so much a part of the DNA and Character of God….”For God so loved the world, that He gave His One and only Son…” (John 3:15 NIV)

I’m never more like my Heavenly Father than when I give.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

 

Additional Offerings

 

MoreAs I’ve read through the books of the law in the Old Testament, I’ve gotten a bit weary trying to understand all the offering requirements of God’s people. They were moving a million plus people around the desert for 40 years and they had some very detailed rituals that they were to be part of each day. It’s been hard for me to wrap my head around all of this. Most of the requirements were upon the priests and the Levite family. This morning I came across a passage that described the daily offerings, the Sabbath offerings as well as a few annual gatherings. The Lord was very specific in what He expected during the daily offerings as well as special events. The Passover was a big event commemorating the departure from Egypt as the Lord issued the final plague onto the Egyptians. The Israelites were “passed over” and the feast of the Passover was a reminder of God rescuing them from the Egyptians. Check this out…

23 Offer these in addition to the regular morning burnt offering. 24 In this way present the food offering every day for seven days as an aroma pleasing to the Lord; it is to be offered in addition to the regular burnt offering and its drink offering. 25 On the seventh day hold a sacred assembly and do not do any ordinary work. (Numbers 28:23-25 NIV)

Although I read this account and get weary thinking about all the work they participated in for these special events, I do realize that the people had to have a heart a deep gratitude as the Lord saved them. He also dwelled among them. As I reflect on the Lord’s Presence in me, I don’t get tired of thanking Him or worshipping Him. My gratitude is deep and profound to the Lord for saving me from sin that can destroy me.

These special offerings like the Passover were always in addition to their regular offerings. I think it’s worth noting that the Lord instituted daily rituals as well as special occasion rituals for His people. This tells me that my daily journey is great, but sometimes I need to do things or be part of things “in addition” to my daily commitments.

At the end of the day, I could never give God too much. I could never out give Him. I could never do enough for Him to compare with what He’s done for me. It’s a true privilege to give to Him and serve Him. I should never get comfortable and complacent with my offerings. I owe Him all of me – my whole life belongs to Him. The Lord is living vicariously through me because I’ve given Him total access to my life. That’s not just an additional offering – it’s all I have and all I’ve got. It’s all His – I’m just the manager of His resources.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Giving Angle

 

The Power of Sharing Billboard Message Donate Give Help OthersI’ve seen people who are amazing givers. They are wired to give of their time, their money but most importantly – themselves. These givers are generous from the top of their head to the bottom of their feet. People who give generously really love deeply. God loves generous givers because it’s part of Who He is.

Moses is finished setting up the tabernacle (aka tent of worship) and the leaders of each of the 12 family tribes brings gifts to the Lord in celebration of what He’s doing among them. Their gifts included silver plates, silver bowls, silver ladles and animals for burnt offering. The Lord was pleased with their giving. Now Moses enters the most holy place. Check this out…

89 When Moses entered the tent of meeting to speak with the Lord, he heard the voice speaking to him from between the two cherubim above the atonement cover on the ark of the covenant law. In this way the Lord spoke to him. (Numbers 7:89 NIV)

I’ve never heard the audible voice of God, but I’ve felt Him speak into my heart. In fact I believe the more I seek His heart, the more Present He becomes in my heart. I think it’s interesting that after Moses consecrates the tabernacle and the people give, He goes in to meet with God and hears Him speak.

I am really like God when I give generously and lavishly. He is so very generous in His giving to me. I could never out give Him. The more I learn about the Lord, the more I notice His giving – it’s in His DNA. I believe He wants giving to be in my DNA. Giving gives me an angle to see things from that I can’t get any other way. I believe that the Lord can lead and speak to me in many ways, but giving sets me up to hear clearly from Him.

Pressing On!

Dwayne